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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

G-20

According to background info provided by the EU's commission, the G-20's "members [. . .] are the finance ministers and central bank governors of 19 countries: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. The European Union is also a member, represented by the rotating Council Presidency and the European Central Bank."

Hm. So, we have a situation in which an integovernmental agency (the G-20) is constituted such that some members--namely: France, Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom--are represented twice: once as member states of G-20, and once again through their membership in the EU (which is one of the "members" of the G-20). If they they vote by membership, this means the four west European members of G-20 (altogether approximately 5% of humankind) have 5 votes, i.e., a decision making power of 5/20=25% of the total, roughly five times their population share.

Interesting. A significant part of the last chapter of my book is about this, actually. I wonder how they get away with this.

1 comment:

  1. As it turns out, the World Trade Organisation works in exactly the same way. Consider this quote from the WTO's website:

    "The largest and most comprehensive group is the European Union (for legal reasons known officially as the “European Communities” in WTO business) and its 27 member states. The EU is a customs union with a single external trade policy and tariff. While the member states coordinate their position in Brussels and Geneva, the European Commission alone speaks for the EU at almost all WTO meetings. The EU is a WTO member in its own right as are each of its member states."

    Hm.

    ReplyDelete

cover page of the book

cover page of the book
image used for the cover design by Anannya Dasgupta